Born: December 31, 1930 | Died: December 3, 2008
Odetta, the classically trained folk, blues and gospel singer who used her powerfully rich and dusky voice to champion African American music and civil rights issues for more than half a century starting in the folk revival of the 1950s,died on Dec. 3, 2008, She was 77.
She was admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City for a checkup in mid-November but went into kidney failure. She died there Tuesday of heart disease, her manager, Doug Yeager, told the Associated Press.
With a repertoire that included 19th century slave songs and spirituals as well as the topical ballads of such 20th century folk icons as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Odetta became one of the most beloved figures in folk music....